In the last years inorganic semiconductor (particularly CdSe and CdS) quantum dots (QDs) have received great attention for their important optical properties. The possibility to tune the emission wavelength, together with their high fluorescence quantum efficiency and photostability, can be exploited in photonic and optoelectronic technological applications. The design of DFB devices, based on QDs as active optical material, leads to the realization of compact laser systems. In this work we explore the use of an inorganic/organic hybrid material composed of CdSe-ZnS semiconductor quantum dots doped into a zirconia sol-gel matrix for optical gain applications. Through the use of soft lithography on a sol-gel germania-silica hybrid, large scale distributed feedback gratings can be created. Used in conjunction with the CdSe-ZnS/ZrO 2 hybrids, these gratings can act as microcavities and allow for the realization of true lasing action. The lasing properties within these devices are characterized in the femtosecond regime by both one- and two-photon excitation. From experimental data the value of the optical gain of the core-shell quantum dot samples has been estimated. Moreover, one- and two-photon lasing threshold and stability are reported.