Paul Planken obtained his MSc at Leiden University and his PhD from the University of Amsterdam on the generation and application of ultrashort infrared pulses, for research performed at the FOM-Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics.
After a two-year postdoc at AT&T Bell laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey, he spent five years at the Free-Electron Laser for Infrared Experiments FELIX in Nieuwegein before moving to the University of Technology Delft where he appointed Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Professor in 2008. In 2014 he moved to the Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL) in Amsterdam, a public-private partnership between the Dutch company ASML, and the University of Amsterdam, the Vrije Universiteit, and NWO.
In 2014 he was also appointed full professor at the University of Amsterdam. His current interests are focused on the science and (metrology) applications of photoacoustics, optical damage, and the generation of electromagnetic pulses with terahertz frequencies. Paul Planken is a VICI laureate and a fellow of the Optical Society (now called Optica).