MnO2·nH2O supercapacitors with potassium polyacrylate (PAAK) and potassium polyacrylate-co-polyacrylamide (PAAK-co-PAAM) gel polymer electrolytes (GPEs) having the weight compositions of polymer:KCl:H2O = 9%:6.7%:84.3% have been characterized for their electrochemical performance. Compared with the liquid electrolyte (LE) counterpart, the GPE cells exhibit remarkable (∼50-130%) enhancement in specific capacitance of the oxide electrode, and the extent of the enhancement increases with increasing amount of the carboxylate groups in the polymers as well as with increasing oxide/electrolyte interfacial area. In situ X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) analysis indicates that the oxide electrodes of the GPE cells possess higher Mn-ion valences and are subjected to greater extent of valence variation than that of the LE cell upon charging/discharging over the same potential range. Copolymerization of PAAK with PAAM greatly improves the cycling stability of the MnO2·nH2O electrode, and the improvement is attributable to the alkaline nature of the amino groups. Both GPEs exhibit ionic conductivities greater than 1.0 × 10-1 S cm-1 and are promising for high-rate applications. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.