Femtosecond laser has the feature of ultra-short and ultra-fast. In recent years, femtosecond laser has been used extensively in the field of new energy, automobiles, large aircraft, and biomedical fields. The femtosecond laser induced surface structure has the advantages of simple process, fast processing speed and high fineness, and it is one of the most widely used surface structure preparation method. Femtosecond laser induced surface periodic structures have wide range of applications in many areas, such as hydrophobic surface or hydrophilic surface, color effect, surface-enhanced Raman scattering(SERS), and so on. Inspired by micro-nanostructures with unique functions on various of biological surfaces in nature, researchers use femtosecond laser micro-nanofabrication produce technology to prepare controlled periodic micro-nano structures on metals, dielectrics, and semiconductor surfaces. Thus playing a role in improving the surface properties of metals. For example, butterflies and birds have very beautiful colors, superhydrophobicty of lotus leaves, shark skin can reduce frictional resistance, strong adsorption capacity of gecko claws, and so on. The improvement of material surface properties can bring about the realization of new functions and the development of related technology, it can effectively serve the production and life of human beings. This article introduces the development and research status of the surface periodic structure induced by femtosecond laser, and discusses the influence of materials, laser pulse parameters, processing methods and processing environment on the surface periodic structure. The application prospect of femtosecond laser induced surface periodic structure are pointed out, and the challenges it faces at present stage are summarized.