Optically active liquid-crystalline side-chain polysiloxanes have been prepared by grafting planar chiral ferrocene-based vinyl monomers onto commercially available polyhydrosiloxane. Two ferrocene monomers have been synthesized: a linear-type monomer, which displays a monotropic chiral smectic C (SC*) phase and enantiotropic smectic A (SA) and chiral N (N*) phases, and a laterally branched monomer, which shows an enantiotropic N* phase. X-ray diffraction analysis indicates a monomolecular organization of the monomeric units within the smectic layers. The polymers retain the liquid-crystalline phases of their corresponding monomers. The UV-vis and circular dichroism (CD) spectra are in agreement with the structure of the monomers and polymers. The molar absorption coefficient (ε) and molar circular dichroic absorption coefficient (Δε) values of the polymers are proportional to the number of monomeric units grafted onto them. The absolute configuration of the ferrocene carboxylic acid intermediate, used to synthesize the monomers, has been determined on the basis of CD spectra. The helical twisting power (HTP) of the nematogenic monomer and polymer have been determined in E7, and indicate that such materials could be used as chiral dopants. Finally, this study demonstrates that the nature of chiral phases can be controlled by structural engineering of the organic groups only, with ferrocene acting as the source of chirality. © 2006 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.