Theory and Applications of Darlington Pair Amplifier

Contents in this article:

  • What is Darlington Pair Transistor Amplifier?
  • Theory of Darlington pair amplifier
  • Current gain and Voltage gain of Darlington pair amplifier
  • Practical Darlington pair amplifier circuit
  • Applications of Darlington pair amplifier
  • Drawback of Darlington pair amplifier

What is Darlington pair transistor amplifier?

Darlington Pair amplifier circuit is a connection of two transistors which acts as a single unit with overall current gain equal to the multiplication of the individual current gains of the transistors. Darlington pair transistor amplifier circuit is very popular in electronics. Clearly, it is an Amplifier circuit. In this article, we are going to discuss the theory and the applications of Darlington pair amplifier.

Theory and equations of Darlington pair Amplifier

The circuit diagram for an ideal Darlington pair amplifier is shown in figure-1. Here, T1 and T2 are the two transistors. The emitter terminal of first transistor (T1) is connected with the base of the second transistor (T2 ). So, for the overall circuit, the input current is base current of T1 and output current is the emitter current of T2.

Figure-1: Ideal Darlington pair Amplifier Circuit

For the transistor T1 ,

Emitter current, IE1 =( IB1 + IC1 ) = (1+_{\beta 1} ) IB1 …………… (1)

Now this emitter current will enter at the base of the second transistor T2.

So, for the transistor T2 ,

The base current, IB2 = IE1 = (1+_{\beta 1} ) IB1

Emitter current of T2 is IE2 = (1+_{\beta 2}) IB2 or, IE2 = (1+_{\beta 2} )(1+_{\beta 1} ) IB1

or, IE2 =_{\beta 1 \beta 2} IB1. Because, _{\beta 1 \beta 2} is very much higher than _{\beta 1} and _{\beta 2}. So, we can neglect the other terms in this expression.

Thus, the overall current gain is _{\beta 1 \beta 2}. This is the working principle of Darlington pair amplifier.

Typical values of _{\beta} is from 50 to 500. Most common value of _{\beta} is 99 or 100. Thus, the Darlington pair amplifier gives very high current gain.

Current gain and Voltage gain of Darlington pair amplifier

From the above calculations we get the current gain of Darlington pair amplifier is almost equal to the product between the current gains of individual transistors. If _{\beta 1} and _{\beta 2} be the current gains of individual transistors then overall current gain of Darlington pair amplifier is _{\beta 1 \beta 2}.

The overall voltage gain remains slightly smaller that unity.

Practical Darlington pair Circuit

Figure-2 implies the practical purpose used Darlington pair amplifier circuit.

Figure-2: Practical Darlington pair Amplifier circuit

This circuit consists of two cascaded emitter followers. It also provide the same current gain as that of ideal circuit. This two stage emitter follower circuit has much higher input impedance that that of a single stage emitter follower circuit. The value of input impedance for this circuit is about _{\beta 1 \beta 2}RE. The working principle of practical Darlington pair amplifier is also same as that of ideal Darlington pair.

Applications of Darlington pair amplifier

We already saw that the Darlington pair amplifier circuit can provide a huge current gain. So, it has a wide range of use as a current Amplifier. Darlington pair amplifier circuit can also be used in Voltage regulators and power amplifiers in electronic devices like TV, Computer, etc.

Drawback of Darlington pair circuit

This circuit is very useful in amplifying the current. But it has a major drawback that the leakage current of the first transistor is also amplified by second transistor. As a result there is a possibility of burning out the circuit due to generation of high temperature by this huge leakage current.

This is all about the theory and applications of Darlington pair Amplifier. If you have any doubt on this you can ask me in the comment section. Also, you can visit all the blog posts on this website for absolutely free. This website contains physics and electronics related blog articles.

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