Abstract Multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)/ionic liquid/gold nanoparticle hybrid materials have been prepared by a chemical route that involves functionalization of MWCNT with amine-terminated ionic liquids followed by deposition of Au. Transmission electron microscopy revealed well-distributed Au with a narrow size distribution centered around 3.3 nm. The identity of the hybrid material was confirmed through Raman and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. It showed good electrocatalytic behavior toward oxygen reduction, relative to glassy carbon electrode. The results indicate that modification of MWCNT with ionic liquids and Au could play an important role in increasing the electrocatalytic activity of MWCNT.