In this study, (sodium alginate/acrylamide) interpenetrating polymer networks ((NaAlg/AAm)IPN) have been prepared at definite composition. The aqueous solution of 3% (w/v) sodium alginate and 50% (w/v) acrylamide was irradiated with Co-60-gamma rays at a dose rate of 0.07 kGy/h up to 5 kGy. The percent conversion was determined gravimetrically and 100% gelation was achieved at 5 kGy dose. To understand whether the semi-interpenetrating polymer network of sodium alginate is performed, Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectra of polyacrylamide (PAAm), sodium alginate, and the semi-interpenetrating polymer network were recorded. It is found that the FTIR spectra of PAAm, NaAlg, and the semi-interpenetrating polymer network are different. The thermograms of PAAm, sodium alginate, and the semi-interpenetrating polymer network were recorded for investigating their thermal character. (NaAlg/AAm)IPN hydrogels were immersed to swell in a solution of pH 7, at a temperature of 25 degrees C. The swelling results at pH 7.0 indicated that (NaAlg/AAm)IPN hydrogel, containing 3% NaAlg showed maximum % swelling in water but swelling increased in the order of water > Magenta > Methylene Blue > Safranine-O > Methyl Violet. Diffusion of water and aqueous solution of dyes within (NaAlg/AAm)IPN hydrogels was found to be of Fickian character at the initial stage of swelling with regard to values calculated for diffusion coefficient of (NaAlg/AAm)IPN hydrogels in water and aqueous solution of dyes. Some diffusion parameters were calculated from swelling of (NaAlg/AAm)IPN in water and dyes and their adsorption isotherms were plotted. In the adsorption experiments, the efficiency of (NaAlg/AAm)IPN hydrogels to adsorb Magenta, Safranine-O, Methylene Blue, and Methyl Violet dyes from water was studied. (NaAlg/AAm)IPN hydrogels showed different adsorption for different aqueous solution of dyes at pH 7.0. Adsorption isotherms were constructed for (NaAlg/AAm)IPN-dye systems. S type adsorption in the Giles classification system was found. Thermal and spectroscopic characterization of semi-interpenetrating polymer network of sodium alginate and acrylamide and dye adsorbed semi-interpenetrating polymer network of sodium alginate and acrylamide was recorded. (C) 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.