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. 790-5397
Mfr. Part No.MJH11022G
$7.21
Each (In a Pack of 2)
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NPN 15 A 250 V 5 V TO-247 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 100 3.8 V 250 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 124-5325
Mfr. Part No.MJH11022G
$4.534
Each (In a Tube of 30)
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NPN 15 A 250 V 5 V TO-247 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 100 3.8 V 250 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 545-2513
Mfr. Part No.BDW42G
$1.604
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NPN 15 A 100 V 5 V TO-220AB Through Hole 3 - Single 1 250 - 100 V 3 V
RS Stock No. 163-2366
Mfr. Part No.BDW42G
$0.844
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NPN 15 A 100 V 5 V TO-220AB Through Hole 3 - Single 1 250 - 100 V 3 V
RS Stock No. 103-5146
Mfr. Part No.TIP120G
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NPN 8 A 60 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 1000 - 60 V 4 V
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$11.10
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NPN 30 A 120 V 5 V TO-204 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 200 5 V 120 V 4 V
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NPN 500 mA 30 V 10 V TO-92 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 5000 - 30 V 1.5 V
RS Stock No. 166-2727
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$0.068
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NPN 500 mA 30 V 10 V TO-92 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 5000 - 30 V 1.5 V
RS Stock No. 774-3653
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$1.206
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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. 122-0071
Mfr. Part No.MJ11016G
$8.305
Each (In a Tray of 100)
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NPN 30 A 120 V 5 V TO-204 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 200 5 V 120 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 803-1973
Mfr. Part No.MMBTA14
$0.099
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NPN 1.2 A 30 V 10 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 20000 - 30 V 1.5 V
RS Stock No. 166-1922
Mfr. Part No.MMBTA14
$0.054
Each (On a Reel of 3000)
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NPN 1.2 A 30 V 10 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 20000 - 30 V 1.5 V
RS Stock No. 100-7565
Mfr. Part No.MJ11016G
$8.305
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NPN 30 A 120 V 5 V TO-204 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 200 5 V 120 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 463-010
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NPN 4 A 100 V 5 V TO-225 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 750 - 100 V 2.5 V
RS Stock No. 806-5046
Mfr. Part No.NJD35N04T4G
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NPN 4 A 350 V 5 V DPAK (TO-252) Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 2000 2 V 700 V 1.5 V
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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. 163-1230
Mfr. Part No.TIP122G
$0.338
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
RS Stock No. 169-8596
Mfr. Part No.BD682STU
$0.548
Each (In a Tube of 60)
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PNP -4 A 100 V -5 V TO-126 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 750 - -100 V -2.5 V
RS Stock No. 103-2945
Mfr. Part No.BU323ZG
$2.812
Each (In a Tube of 30)
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NPN 10 A 350 V 6 V TO-247 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 150 2.2 V - 1.6 V
RS Stock No. 163-0785
Mfr. Part No.NJD35N04T4G
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NPN 4 A 350 V 5 V DPAK (TO-252) Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 2000 2 V 700 V 1.5 V