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We have developed methods for creating microscale inorganic light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and for assembling and interconnecting them into unusual display and lighting systems. The LEDs use specialized epitaxial semiconductor layers that allow delineation and release of large collections of ultrathin devices. Diverse shapes are possible, with dimensions from micrometers to millimeters, in either flat or “wavy” configurations. Printing-based assembly methods can deposit these devices on substrates of glass, plastic, or rubber, in arbitrary spatial layouts and over areas that can be much larger than those of the growth wafer. The thin geometries of these LEDs enable them to be interconnected by conventional planar processing techniques. Displays, lighting elements, and related systems formed in this manner can offer interesting mechanical and optical properties.