A thermal transfer element for forming a multilayer device may include a substrate and a multicomponent transfer unit that, when transferred to a receptor, is configured and arranged to form a first operational layer and a second operational layer of a multilayer device. In at least some instances, the thermal transfer element also includes a light-to-heat conversion (LTHC) layer that can convert light energy to heat energy to transfer the multicomponent transfer unit. Transferring the multicomponent transfer unit to the receptor may include contacting a receptor with a thermal transfer element having a substrate and a multicomponent transfer unit. Then, the thermal transfer element is selectively heated to transfer the multicomponent transfer unit to the receptor according to a pattern to form at least first and second operational layers of a device. Often, when the thermal transfer element includes a LTHC layer between the substrate and the transfer layer, the thermal transfer element can be illuminated with light according to the pattern and the light energy is converted to heat energy to selectively heat the thermal transfer element.
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