We describe the fabrication, characterization and frequency doubling properties of first order stacks of diffusion bonded 2″ diameter GaAs wafers. Near IR imaging through the stacks indicated that excellent bonding was obtained over 40%–70% of the central area of the wafers. A power spectrum analysis of the spectral noise (due to interface reflections) appearing in the transmission data is shown to be a quantitative diagnostic tool useful for determining interface quality and for accurately estimating the thickness of the bonded layers in a stack. The conversion efficiency for a four layer stack at 10.6 microns was found to be 0.03% or 3 mJ for a 10 mJ pulse with a 100 nanosecond pulse length. The corresponding efficiency for cw SHG was found to be 0.0002%.