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Semiconductor lasers under large-signal direct modulation by a square waveform are found to exhibit a transition from a power spectrum characterized by a fundamental frequency and FM sidebands to a continuous spectrum with a catastrophically broadened linewidth of the order of several GHz. The interesting feature of the phenomenon is that the photon output remains periodic apart from noise-induced fluctuations, and the broadening of the power spectrum is attributed to the sensitivity of thedoi:10.1063/1.357346 fatcat:uksddpfkazhb7jsav4av53je74