Linear-scaling methods for density functional theory promise to revolutionize the scope and scale of first-principles quantum mechanical calculations. Crystalline silicon has been the system of choice for exploratory tests of such methods in the literature, yet attempts at quantitative comparisons under linear-scaling conditions with traditional methods or experimental results have not been forthcoming. A detailed study using the ONETEP code is reported here, demonstrating for the first time that plane wave accuracy can be achieved in linear-scaling calculations on periodic systems.

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