Highly ion-conductive gel polymer electrolyte (GPE) with mechanical flexibility is developed by incorporating liquid electrolyte into polymer films that are fabricated by initiator-free photopolymerization of poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate (acrylate monomer) and pentaerythritol tetrakis (3-mercaptopropionate) (thiol monomer) blend. When UV is irradiated on the blend, the thiol monomers themselves produce radicals to initiate the polymerization. GPEs with 40-50 wt.% of thiol monomer content show mechanically free standing characteristics with sufficient flexibility. The ionic conductivity of the GPE reaches 1.1 x 10(-3) S cm(-1) at 25 degrees C and is thus high enough to be applied for lithium secondary batteries. The GPE is electrochemically stable up to 4.4V versus Li/Li+ and the unit cells consisting of LiCoO2/GPE/lithium metal show good cycling performance. This GPE is thus considered a good electrolyte candidate for future flexible and wearable lithium secondary batteries. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.