The invention relates to a method for structuring a film (12) which is present on a substrate (11). The top layer (13) consists of a noble metal such as Au and is structured in the first process step by means of a laser beam (17), thereby producing an opening (18) so that the top layer (13) can be used as an etching mask. In a further step, the other layers (14, 15, 16) can be structured by etching. The top layer (13) remains on top of the lower layers (14, 15, 16) of the finished component and has a special function (e.g. as a bonding surface). The method according to the invention is advantageous in that it eliminates the need for the separate production of an etching mask, which mask would have to be removed once the component is finished.