A novel strategy based on self-assembly technology was devised for design of photosensitive material as a ferroelectric liquid crystal (FLC) alignment layer. This development offers new tools for the study and control at the molecular level of the interaction of FLCs with solid surfaces. The photoreactive material was self-assembled to the substrate by covalent bond linkage due to a special chemical adsorption reaction. Through ester bond linkage, a cyano group with strong polarity was introduced to be terminus of the film. Under irradiation of linearly polarised ultraviolet light, an optically anisotropic self-assembled film was easily obtained. The irradiated film was demonstrated to result in homogenous alignment of FLC by optical transmittance measurements and polarising optical microscopy images of a FLC cell at different rotation angles. The alignment quality of the FLC on this self-assembled monolayer film is comparable to that of commercial rubbed polyimide film. Furthermore, it was also found that the fine alignment of the FLC may be related to the smoothness of the self-assembled film surface owing to its polar end.