Of German nationality, Patrik Hoffmann was born in Landau in der Pfalz in Germany in 1961.
After the studies in Chemistry at Fridericiana University (Ecole Polytechnique) of Karsruhe, he obtained his diploma of chemistry in 1988. He carried out his PhD in EPFL and got docteur ès sciences in 1992 for his work on the deposition of metallic micro- and nano-structures. In 1992, he moved to research centre of IBM at Almaden in California, USA and then was employed by IBM. He moved back to EPFL in 1993 to join the Institute of Applied Optics as adjoint scientifique. In 1995 he became the head of dental section and department of R&D in a German galvanic company.
In March 1997, he was nominated Maître d'enseignement et de recherche (MER), specialized in techniques of microfabrication by laser at the Institute of Applied Optics of department of microtechnics in EPFL.
From April 2009 he heads the Advanced Materials Processing Laoratory of Empa, Swiss Federal Institute of Materials research and Testing at Thun.