A new type of organic/inorganic hybrid colloid, made of modified carboxylmethyl starch (CMS) and titanium oxide (TiO(2)), was synthesized by an in situ sol-gel technique. IR spectra analysis shows strong a interaction of functional groups between two components, whose dispersion is almost at the molecular level. Due to the highly active surfaces hybrid particles and their characteristic dielectric behavior in accordance with the previous theoretic calculation, the suspensions of hybrids in silicone oil display a remarkable ER effect. The static yield stress can be above 20 kPa (shear rate 5 S(-1)) under a direct current field of 4 kV/mm at room temperature, much higher than that of simple blends of starch and titanium dioxide. In the meanwhile, the temperature dependence and sedimentation stability were optimized. Based on existing experimental results, we propose that dielectric properties and surface (interface) activity are two necessary conditions fulfilling the requirement of high ER activity. The combination of both factors may effectively reduce the activation energy needed for ERF restructuring.