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Energy is evolved when the ions come together to produce the crystal lattice. This energy is known as lattice energy or lattice enthalpy . The size of the lattice energy depends on the attractions between the ions. The lattice energy is greatest if the ions are small and highly charged - the ions will be close together with very strong attractions. In the whole of Group 2, the attractions between the 2+ metal ions and the 3- nitride ions are big enough to produce very high lattice energies.