Ionically conductive polymer electrolytes represent a class of safe and environment-friendly electrolytes for next-generation alkali metal batteries. Understanding the interplay between composition-driven interfacial processes and battery performance can fundamentally inform the design of polymer electrolytes for practical applications. In this study, we fabricate lithium metal batteries based on transparent free-standing ionic liquid gel polymer electrolytes (ILGPEs) and LiFePO4 cathodes. We develop the ILGPEs using a composite of poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) (PVDF-HFP), N-methyl-N-propylpiperidinium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (PP13TFSI), and lithium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (LiTFSI). A thorough compositional optimization shows that the lithium ion conductivity of the ILGPE increases with the increase of PP13TFSI and LiTFSI, reaching maxima of 1.3 mS cm−1 at 23 °C and 5.82 mS cm−1 at 80 °C when the ILGPE contains 60 wt% PP13TFSI and 20 wt% LiTFSI. The optimized ILGPE exhibits excellent interfacial stability against the lithium metal, as signified by the stable interfacial resistance upon long-term storage. The LiFePO4|ILGPE|Li cells can deliver superior battery performance with a practical capacity approaching 89.5% of the theoretical capacity and capacity retention of 95.0% after 200 cycles. The formation of the electrode–electrolyte interphases takes place primarily during the initial cycles, which likely accounts for the activation period observed in LiFePO4|ILGPE|Li cells.
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