Darlington Pairs

What are Darlington Pairs?

Darlington pairs, also called Darlington transistors, are a package of two standard BJT transistors (bipolar junction transistor). One of the transistors is high-gain while the other is high current. They are used to amplify weak signals from one circuit to another circuit or microprocessor. This means that the tiny current from a sensor or micro controller I/O pin can be amplified to drive a large load. Darlington pairs can also be operated as an ON/OFF switch.

Darlington pairs work together as a single transistor but feature a much higher current gain. They also offer high input impedance in comparison to single transistors.

How do they work?

The emitter of one transistor is connected to the base of the other transistor which effectively creates one transistor.

Why should you use a Darlington pair?

Darlington pairs provide a very high current gain. Working as two transistors within one package, Darlington pairs have a very compact footprint which takes up minimal space on a board.

What applications do you use them in?

With high current gain, Darlington transistors are well suited to power applications such as driving motors and relays. Darlington pairs are ideal for application in display drivers, audio outputs, power regulators, light sensors, touch sensors and power supply outputs. It is not recommended to use them in applications that require high frequency as it is not possible to shut the base current off immediately.

Different types

Darlington pairs can consist of either NPN (negative-positive-negative) transistors, PNP (positive-negative-positive) transistors or both.

Darlington pairs are typically supplied in one of two ways. You can purchase them as an array (called a Darlington array) within a single integrated circuit (IC) package, or as a simple single discrete component.

Standard package type examples include SOT-23, SOIC, TO-220 and TO-252 (DPAK).

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Description Price Transistor Type Maximum Continuous Collector Current Maximum Collector Emitter Voltage Maximum Emitter Base Voltage Package Type Mounting Type Pin Count Configuration Transistor Configuration Number of Elements per Chip Minimum DC Current Gain Maximum Base Emitter Saturation Voltage Maximum Collector Base Voltage Maximum Collector Emitter Saturation Voltage
RS Stock No. 168-6833
Mfr. Part No.ULN2803A
£0.511
Each (In a Tube of 20)
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NPN 500 mA 50 V 50 V PDIP Through Hole 18 - Common Emitter 8 1000 - - 1.1 V
RS Stock No. 714-1167
Mfr. Part No.ULN2803A
£0.736
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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NPN 500 mA 50 V 50 V PDIP Through Hole 18 - Common Emitter 8 1000 - - 1.1 V
RS Stock No. 168-6450
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003A
£0.281
Each (In a Tube of 25)
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - PDIP Through Hole 16 - Common Emitter 7 1000 - - 1.6 V
RS Stock No. 686-8209
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003A
£0.304
Each (In a Pack of 20)
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - PDIP Through Hole 16 - Common Emitter 7 1000 - - 1.6 V
RS Stock No. 100-3837
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003AN
£0.501
Each (In a Tube of 25)
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NPN 500 mA 50 V 50 V PDIP Through Hole 16 - Common Emitter 7 - - - 1.6 V
RS Stock No. 486-0294
Mfr. Part No.TIP142
£1.412
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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NPN 10 A 100 V 5 V TO-247 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 500 - 100 V 3 V
RS Stock No. 102-4091
Mfr. Part No.TIP142
£1.246
Each (In a Tube of 30)
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NPN 10 A 100 V 5 V TO-247 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 500 - 100 V 3 V
RS Stock No. 646-6311
Mfr. Part No.ULN2803ADW
£1.26
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NPN 500 mA 50 V 50 V SOIC Surface Mount 18 - Common Emitter 8 - - - 1.6 V
RS Stock No. 866-0196
Mfr. Part No.ULN2803ADW
£0.887
Each (In a Tube of 40)
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - SOIC Surface Mount 18 - Common Emitter 8 - - - 1.6 V
RS Stock No. 103-5146
Mfr. Part No.TIP120G
£0.374
Each (In a Tube of 50)
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NPN 8 A 60 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 1000 - 60 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 774-3653
Mfr. Part No.TIP120G
£0.413
Each (In a Pack of 10)
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NPN 8 A 60 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 1000 - 60 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 485-9660
Mfr. Part No.TIP121
£0.672
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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NPN 5 A 80 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 1000 - 80 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 102-4100
Mfr. Part No.TIP121
£0.457
Each (In a Tube of 50)
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NPN 5 A 80 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 1000 - 80 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 774-3246
Mfr. Part No.2N6052G
£3.36
Each
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PNP 12 A 100 V 5 V TO-204 Through Hole 2 - Single 1 100 4 V 100 V 3 V
RS Stock No. 163-0840
Mfr. Part No.2N6052G
£2.137
Each (In a Tray of 100)
Units
PNP 12 A 100 V 5 V TO-204 Through Hole 2 - Single 1 100 4 V 100 V 3 V
RS Stock No. 103-1078
Mfr. Part No.TIP122
£0.439
Each (In a Tube of 50)
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NPN 8 A 100 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 1000 - 100 V 4 V
New
RS Stock No. 177-5536
Mfr. Part No.A2982SLWTR-T
£1.735
Each (On a Reel of 1000)
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NPN + PNP 500 mA 50 V - SOIC W Surface Mount 20 - - 8 - - - 2 V
RS Stock No. 680-7220
Mfr. Part No.A2982SLWTR-T
£1.928
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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NPN + PNP 500 mA 50 V - SOIC W Surface Mount 20 - - 8 - - - 2 V
RS Stock No. 688-1502
Mfr. Part No.MJ11015G
£2.985
Each (In a Pack of 2)
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PNP 30 A 120 V 5 V TO-204 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 200 5 V 120 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 103-5055
Mfr. Part No.MJ11015G
£2.26
Each (In a Tray of 100)
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PNP 30 A 120 V 5 V TO-204 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 200 5 V 120 V 4 V
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Darlington transistor power drivers are high-voltage, high-current switch arrays containing multiple open-collector Darlington pairs and integral suppression diodes for inductive loads. The high current rating of each output is 500 mA or higher. The inputs are pinned opposite the outputs in the IC package to simplify the application board layout. ...
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