We investigate physical and electrochemical properties of a family of organic-inorganic hybrid electrolytes based on the ionic liquid 1-methyl-3-propylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethanesulfone) imide covalently tethered to silica nanoparticles (SiO 2-IL-TFSI). The ionic conductivity exhibits a pronounced maximum versus LiTFSI composition, and in mixtures containing 13.4 wt% LiTFSI, the room-temperature ionic conductivity is enhanced by over 3 orders of magnitude relative to either of the mixture components, without compromising lithium transference number. The SiO 2-IL-TFSI/LiTFSI hybrid electrolytes are thermally stable up to 400°C and exhibit tunable mechanical properties and attractive (4.25V) electrochemical stability in the presence of metallic lithium. We explain these observations in terms of ionic coupling between counterion species in the mobile and immobile (particle-tethered) phases of the electrolytes. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.