Network microstructures of acrylamide (AAm)-based hydrogels were investigated by static and dynamic light scattering techniques. The hydrogels were prepared by free-radical crosslinking copolymerization of the monomers acrylamide (AAm), N,N-dimethylacrylamide (DMA) and N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPA) with N,N'-methylenebis(acrylamide) as a crosslinker in aqueous solutions. It was observed that the addition of DMA or NIPA into the comonomer feed suppresses the extent of frozen concentration fluctuations in polyacrylamide (PAAm) hydrogels. The cooperative diffusion coefficient increases while both the static and dynamic correlation lengths decrease as the amount of DMA in the comonomer feed is increased. Formation of homogeneous PAAm hydrogels by introduction of hydrophobic moieties was explained as a result of the steric effect of the bulky side groups on DMA or NIPA segments. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.