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Darlington Pair

The Darlington Pair uses a pair of transistors coupled together as an


emitter follower so that the emitter current of the first transistor
flows through the base/emitter junction of the second transistor. The
resulting current gain of the transistor pair is found by multiplying the
current gain of the transistors together. The resulting current gain is
very high and the input impedance of such a stage is very high.

Biasing Arrangements
For linear amplification as opposed to switching applications, the
'operating point' of the transistor must be set so as to minimize
distortion. The simplest of biasing arrangement is shown below.
The base resistor RB is selected to provide the desired base
current, which is 27A in the example shown. This base current
turns the transistor 'on' and establishes the collector current.
In the circuit below (a):

This arrangement is sensitive to temperature and varying gains of transistors. A better arrangement is shown above (b). This
stabilizes the operating point of the transistor because an increase in collector current drops the collector voltage and thus
decreases the base bias.

Definitions
Alpha (a) Gain
In the common base mode, the emitter is the input electrode and the collector is the output electrode. The alpha is the
ratio of the collector current lc to the emitter current IE. It is always less than 1.
Beta current gain (hFE)
In the common emitter mode, the base is the input terminal and the collector is the output terminal. The beta is the ratio of
the collector current lc to the base current IB.
Gain Bandwidth Product (fhfe)
This is the frequency at which the alpha or beta (according to the type of circuit) drops to 0.707 times its 1 kHz value.
Transition Frequency (fT)
The frequency at which the small-signal forward current transfer ratio (common-emitter) falls to unity.
Breakdown voltage
This defines the voltage between two electrodes at which the current rises rapidly. The breakdown voltage may be specified
with the third electrode open, shorted or biased to another electrode.
Secondary Breakdown
High voltages and currents passing through a transistor cause current to be concentrated or focused on a very small area of
the transistor chip causing localized overheating. This is important in power transistors which are often designed to minimize
this effect.
Saturation Voltage (Vcesat)
For a given base current, the collector-emitter saturation voltage is the potential across this junction while the transistor is
in conduction. A further increase in the bias does not increase the collector current. Saturation voltage is very important in
switching and power transistors. It is usually in the order of 0.1v to 1.0v
Safe-operating-area
Power transistors are often required to work at high currents and high voltages simultaneously. This ability is shown in a safe
operating area curve.

PTOT
The total package power dissipation

VCBO
The dc voltage between the collector terminal and the base terminal when the emitter terminal is open-circuited.

VCEO
The dc voltage between the collector terminal and the emitter terminal when the base terminal is open-circuited.