This paper describes the rational design and structure–property relations in three different types of polar LC polymers with interesting material properties, as follows. (i) Chiral LC polymers, which are functionalized with crosslinkable groups, can be converted into LC elastomers with chiral smectic C* phases. The mechanical orientability of these elastomers leads to new piezoelectric materials. (ii) The curing (dense crosslinking) of a polymer matrix provides one possibility of stabilizing the polar order of dye molecules, which is necessary for frequency doubling. Additionally, LC phases can help to stabilize this polar structure, which leads to large and stable nonlinear optical coefficients. (iii) Polymer analogous esterifications offer a convenient method for the synthesis of chiral smectic C* polymers with large ferrolectric polarizations. Copyright © 1992 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.