Submicron-sized top layer was synthesized on an austenitic stainless steel sample by adopting laser shock processing (LSP). The substructures were characterized and examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), moreover, the mechanism of ultra-refinement laser-induced was analyzed. It showed that a refined top surface with average subgrains size of 0.5(m was synthesized by the model of single laser loading, black paint as absorption coating and the peak pressure induced by LSP approximating twice of the dynamic yield strength of target. It indicated that thermoplastic destabilization had happened in heavily localized regions imposed by LSP. Streak-like subgrains were oriented perpendicular to shock wave (Gaussian profile) vector. In order to accommodate plastic strain, streak-like subgrains experienced necking, breaking up and dynamic rotational recrystallization, as a result, the submicron grains were formed on the surface of sample.