A Disruptor Wave was an advanced energy beam that was generated by Haydonite technology. It functioned by creating an overload in Shadow Technology which was actually the technology of the Haydonites. As such, it was able to create instabilities in Shadow Devices and Synchro cannons.
During the Fourth Robotech War, the Haydonites embarked on their ambitious plan in eliminating all races that utilized Protoculture. Thus, they betrayed their Human allies in the Robotech Expeditionary Force where they attacked Space Station Liberty. During the assault, they initialized their Disruptor Wave which caused all the Shadowtech equipped REF vessels to overload and explode thus bringing about an easy victory for the Haydonites.
The usage of the weapon and its effects on the fleet led to Captain Vince Grant realizing that the Shadow Technology provided to the Earth forces being booby trapped. Thus, he ordered the Icarus to deactivate its Shadow Device in the conflict.