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. 866-0196
Mfr. Part No.ULN2803ADW
R 23.288
Each (In a Tube of 40)
units
NPN 500 mA 50 V - SOIC Surface Mount 18 - Common Emitter 8 - - - 1.6 V
RS stock no. 646-6311
Mfr. Part No.ULN2803ADW
R 21.054
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
NPN 500 mA 50 V 50 V SOIC Surface Mount 18 - Common Emitter 8 - - - 1.6 V
RS stock no. 103-1078
Mfr. Part No.TIP122
R 9.585
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
NPN 8 A 100 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 1000 - 100 V 4 V
RS stock no. 168-6084
Mfr. Part No.BU941ZPFI
R 39.29
Each (In a Tube of 30)
units
NPN 15 A 350 V 5 V TO-3PF Through Hole 3 - Single 1 300 2.7 V - 2 V
RS stock no. 419-1144
Mfr. Part No.BU941ZPFI
R 69.62
Each
units
NPN 15 A 350 V 5 V TO-3PF Through Hole 3 - Single 1 300 2.7 V - 2 V
RS stock no. 714-1167
Mfr. Part No.ULN2803A
R 18.772
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
NPN 500 mA 50 V 50 V PDIP Through Hole 18 - Common Emitter 8 1000 - - 1.1 V
RS stock no. 168-6833
Mfr. Part No.ULN2803A
R 17.758
Each (In a Tube of 20)
units
NPN 500 mA 50 V 50 V PDIP Through Hole 18 - Common Emitter 8 1000 - - 1.1 V
RS stock no. 751-3531
Mfr. Part No.BCV47TA
R 1.621
Each (In a Pack of 100)
units
NPN 500 mA 60 V 10 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 2000 1.5 V 80 V 1 V
RS stock no. 121-9528
Mfr. Part No.BCV47TA
R 0.873
Each (On a Reel of 3000)
units
NPN 500 mA 60 V 10 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 2000 1.5 V 80 V 1 V
RS stock no. 486-0294
Mfr. Part No.TIP142
R 32.522
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
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
R 27.775
Each (In a Tube of 30)
units
NPN 10 A 100 V 5 V TO-247 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 500 - 100 V 3 V
RS stock no. 163-0785
Mfr. Part No.NJD35N04T4G
R 6.724
Each (On a Reel of 2500)
units
NPN 4 A 350 V 5 V DPAK (TO-252) Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 2000 2 V 700 V 1.5 V
RS stock no. 806-5046
Mfr. Part No.NJD35N04T4G
R 12.706
Each (On a Tape of 25)
units
NPN 4 A 350 V 5 V DPAK (TO-252) Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 2000 2 V 700 V 1.5 V
RS stock no. 145-2940
Mfr. Part No.NJD35N04G
R 12.484
Each (In a Tube of 75)
units
NPN 4 A 350 V 5 V DPAK (TO-252) Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 300 2 V 700 V 1.5 V
RS stock no. 805-4412
Mfr. Part No.NJD35N04G
R 14.963
Each (In a Pack of 25)
units
NPN 4 A 350 V 5 V DPAK (TO-252) Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 300 2 V 700 V 1.5 V
RS stock no. 810-3668
Mfr. Part No.ST901T
R 18.978
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
NPN 4 A 350 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 500 1.8 V - 2 V
RS stock no. 168-7874
Mfr. Part No.ST901T
R 15.834
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
NPN 4 A 350 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 500 1.8 V - 2 V
RS stock no. 858-196
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003AD
R 10.52
Each
units
NPN 500 mA 50 V 50 V SOIC Surface Mount 16 - Common Emitter 7 - - - 1.6 V
RS stock no. 922-2987
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003ADR
R 3.852
Each (On a Reel of 2500)
units
NPN 500 mA 50 V - SOIC Surface Mount 16 - Common Emitter 7 - - - 1.6 V
RS stock no. 665-8699
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003ADR
R 6.297
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
NPN 500 mA 50 V - SOIC Surface Mount 16 - Common Emitter 7 - - - 1.6 V