Nanostructured gel polymer electrolytes that have both high ionic conductivity and high mechanical strength are disclosed. The electrolytes have at least two domains--one domain contains an ionically-conductive gel polymer and the other domain contains a rigid polymer that provides structure for the electrolyte. The domains are formed by block copolymers. The first block provides a polymer matrix that may or may not be conductive on by itself, but that can soak up a liquid electrolyte, thereby making a gel. An exemplary nanostructured gel polymer electrolyte has an ionic conductivity of at least 1.times.10.sup.-4 S cm.sup.-1 at 25.degree. C.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
The invention described and claimed herein was made in part utilizing funds supplied by the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. The Government has certain rights in this invention.