In electronics, a multi-transistor configuration called the Darlington configuration (commonly called a Darlington pair) is a compound structure of a particular design made by two bipolar transistors connected in such a way that the current amplified by the first transistor is amplified further by the second one.This configuration gives a much higher current gain than each transistor taken separately. It was invented in 1953 by Sidney Darlington.
A Darlington pair behaves like a single transistor, meaning it has one base, collector, and emitter. It typically creates a high current gain (approximately the product of the gains of the two transistors, due to the fact that their β values multiply together). A general relation between the compound current gain and the individual gains is given by:
If β1 and β2 are high enough (hundreds), this relation can be approximated with:
A typical Darlington transistor has a current gain of 1000 or more, so that only a small base current is needed to make the pair switch on higher switching currents.
Another advantage involves providing a very high input impedance for the circuit which also translates into an equal decrease in output impedance.
The ease of creating this circuit also provides an advantage. It can be simply made with two separate NPN transistors, and is also available in a variety of single packages.
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One drawback is an approximate doubling of the base–emitter voltage. Since there are two junctions between the base and emitter of the Darlington transistor, the equivalent base–emitter voltage is the sum of both base–emitter voltages:
For silicon-based technology, where each VBEi is about 0.65 V when the device is operating in the active or saturated region, the necessary base–emitter voltage of the pair is 1.3 V.
Another drawback of the Darlington pair is its increased "saturation" voltage. The output transistor is not allowed to saturate (i.e. its base–collector junction must remain reverse-biased) because the first transistor, when saturated, establishes full (100%) parallel negative feedback between the collector and the base of the second transistor. always.) Thus the "saturation" voltage of a Darlington transistor is one VBE (about 0.65 V in silicon) higher than a single transistor saturation voltage, which is typically 0.1 - 0.2 V in silicon. For equal collector currents, this drawback translates to an increase in the dissipated power for the Darlington transistor over a single transistor. The increased low output level can cause troubles when TTL logic circuits are driven.Since collector–emitter voltage is equal to the sum of its own base–emitter voltage and the collector-emitter voltage of the first transistor, both positive quantities in normal operation, it always exceeds the base-emitter voltage. (In symbols,
Another problem is a reduction in switching speed or response, because the first transistor cannot actively inhibit the base current of the second one, making the device slow to switch off. To alleviate this, the second transistor often has a resistor of a few hundred ohms connected between its base and emitter terminals.This resistor provides a low-impedance discharge path for the charge accumulated on the base-emitter junction, allowing a faster transistor turn-off.
The Darlington pair has more phase shift at high frequencies than a single transistor and hence can more easily become unstable with negative feedback (i.e., systems that use this configuration can have poor performance due to the extra transistor delay).
Integrated devices can take less space than two individual transistors because they can use a shared collector. Integrated Darlington pairs come packaged singly in transistor-like packages or as an array of devices (usually eight) in an integrated circuit.
Darlington pairs are available as integrated packages or can be made from two discrete transistors; Q1, the left-hand transistor in the diagram, can be a low power type, but normally Q2 (on the right) will need to be high power. The maximum collector current IC(max) of the pair is that of Q2. A typical integrated power device is the 2N6282, which includes a switch-off resistor and has a current gain of 2400 at IC=10A.
A Darlington pair can be sensitive enough to respond to the current passed by skin contact even at safe zone voltages. Thus it can form a new input stage of a touch-sensitive switch.
Darlington transistors can be used in high-current[ clarification needed ] circuits, such as those involving computer control of motors or relays. The current is amplified from the normal low level of the computer output line to the amount needed by the connected device.
A multivibrator is an electronic circuit used to implement a variety of simple two-state devices such as relaxation oscillators, timers and flip-flops. It consists of two amplifying devices cross-coupled by resistors or capacitors. The first multivibrator circuit, the astable multivibrator oscillator, was invented by Henri Abraham and Eugene Bloch during World War I. They called their circuit a "multivibrator" because its output waveform was rich in harmonics.
A bipolar junction transistor is a type of transistor that uses both electrons and holes as charge carriers.
A Negative-feedback amplifier is an electronic amplifier that subtracts a fraction of its output from its input, so that negative feedback opposes the original signal. The applied negative feedback can improve its performance and reduces sensitivity to parameter variations due to manufacturing or environment. Because of these advantages, many amplifiers and control systems use negative feedback.
In electronics, a common-base amplifier is one of three basic single-stage bipolar junction transistor (BJT) amplifier topologies, typically used as a current buffer or voltage amplifier.
A differential amplifier is a type of electronic amplifier that amplifies the difference between two input voltages but suppresses any voltage common to the two inputs. It is an analog circuit with two inputs and and one output in which the output is ideally proportional to the difference between the two voltages
In electronics, a Schmitt trigger is a comparator circuit with hysteresis implemented by applying positive feedback to the noninverting input of a comparator or differential amplifier. It is an active circuit which converts an analog input signal to a digital output signal. The circuit is named a "trigger" because the output retains its value until the input changes sufficiently to trigger a change. In the non-inverting configuration, when the input is higher than a chosen threshold, the output is high. When the input is below a different (lower) chosen threshold the output is low, and when the input is between the two levels the output retains its value. This dual threshold action is called hysteresis and implies that the Schmitt trigger possesses memory and can act as a bistable multivibrator. There is a close relation between the two kinds of circuits: a Schmitt trigger can be converted into a latch and a latch can be converted into a Schmitt trigger.
Resistor–transistor logic (RTL) is a class of digital circuits built using resistors as the input network and bipolar junction transistors (BJTs) as switching devices. RTL is the earliest class of transistorized digital logic circuit used; other classes include diode–transistor logic (DTL) and transistor–transistor logic (TTL). RTL circuits were first constructed with discrete components, but in 1961 it became the first digital logic family to be produced as a monolithic integrated circuit. RTL integrated circuits were used in the Apollo Guidance Computer, whose design was begun in 1961 and which first flew in 1966.
A buffer amplifier is one that provides electrical impedance transformation from one circuit to another, with the aim of preventing the signal source from being affected by whatever currents that the load may be produced with. The signal is 'buffered from' load currents. Two main types of buffer exist: the voltage buffer and the current buffer.
In electronics, a common-emitter amplifier is one of three basic single-stage bipolar-junction-transistor (BJT) amplifier topologies, typically used as the voltage amplifier.
In electronics, a common collector amplifier is one of three basic single-stage bipolar junction transistor (BJT) amplifier topologies, typically used as a voltage buffer.
A current mirror is a circuit designed to copy a current through one active device by controlling the current in another active device of a circuit, keeping the output current constant regardless of loading. The current being "copied" can be, and sometimes is, a varying signal current. Conceptually, an ideal current mirror is simply an ideal inverting current amplifier that reverses the current direction as well. Or it can consist of a current-controlled current source (CCCS). The current mirror is used to provide bias currents and active loads to circuits. It can also be used to model a more realistic current source.
A network, in the context of electronics, is a collection of interconnected components. Network analysis is the process of finding the voltages across, and the currents through, all network components. There are many techniques for calculating these values. However, for the most part, the techniques assume linear components. Except where stated, the methods described in this article are applicable only to linear network analysis.
A current source is an electronic circuit that delivers or absorbs an electric current which is independent of the voltage across it.
The asymptotic gain model is a representation of the gain of negative feedback amplifiers given by the asymptotic gain relation:
An avalanche transistor is a bipolar junction transistor designed for operation in the region of its collector-current/collector-to-emitter voltage characteristics beyond the collector-to-emitter breakdown voltage, called avalanche breakdown region. This region is characterized by avalanche breakdown, which is a phenomenon similar to Townsend discharge for gases, and negative differential resistance. Operation in the avalanche breakdown region is called avalanche-mode operation: it gives avalanche transistors the ability to switch very high currents with less than a nanosecond rise and fall times. Transistors not specifically designed for the purpose can have reasonably consistent avalanche properties; for example 82% of samples of the 15V high-speed switch 2N2369, manufactured over a 12-year period, were capable of generating avalanche breakdown pulses with rise time of 350 ps or less, using a 90V power supply as Jim Williams writes.
In electronics, the complementary feedback pair, also known as a Sziklai pair, is a configuration of two bipolar transistors, similar to a Darlington pair. In contrast to the Darlington arrangement, the complementary feedback pair has one NPN and one PNP transistor, and so it is sometimes also called the "complementary Darlington". The configuration is named for its early popularizer, George C. Sziklai.
A Wilson current mirror is a three-terminal circuit that accepts an input current at the input terminal and provides a "mirrored" current source or sink output at the output terminal. The mirrored current is a precise copy of the input current. It may be used as a Wilson current source by applying a constant bias current to the input branch as in Fig. 2. The circuit is named after George R. Wilson, an integrated circuit design engineer who worked for Tektronix. Wilson devised this configuration in 1967 when he and Barrie Gilbert challenged each other to find an improved current mirror overnight that would use only three transistors. Wilson won the challenge.
Bipolar transistors must be properly biased to operate correctly. In circuits made with individual devices, biasing networks consisting of resistors are commonly employed. Much more elaborate biasing arrangements are used in integrated circuits, for example, bandgap voltage references and current mirrors. The voltage divider configuration achieves the correct voltages by the use of resistors in certain patterns. By selecting the proper resistor values, stable current levels can be achieved that vary only little over temperature and with transistor properties such as β.
Baker clamp is a generic name for a class of electronic circuits that reduce the storage time of a switching bipolar junction transistor (BJT) by applying a nonlinear negative feedback through various kinds of diodes. The reason for slow turn-off times of saturated BJTs is the stored charge in the base. It must be removed before the transistor will turn off since the storage time is a limiting factor of using bipolar transistors and IGBTs in fast switching applications. The diode-based Baker clamps prevent the transistor from saturating and thereby accumulating a lot of stored charge.
The ULN2003A is an array of seven NPN Darlington transistors capable of 500 mA, 50 V output. It features common-cathode flyback diodes for switching inductive loads. It can come in PDIP, SOIC, SOP or TSSOP packaging. In the same family are ULN2002A, ULN2004A, as well as ULQ2003A and ULQ2004A, designed for different logic input levels.